Hungary’s government announced on Wednesday it would withdraw Budapest’s bid to host the 2024 summer Olympics, citing a lack of political and national unity behind the application, and blamed it on its opposition.
Bidding alongside Los Angeles and Paris, Budapest had been considered a long-shot candidate, pinning its hopes on the International Olympic Committee’s Agenda 2020 initiative.
The Budapest mayor, Istvan Tarlos, had suggested the city might quit the race after local opponents of the bid last week submitted a quarter of a million signatures in a petition demanding a local referendum on the issue.
“For Budapest and Hungary the Olympics is a national issue,” the government said in a resolution published on the national news agency MTI. “In recent months the earlier unity has broken down and the issue of the Olympics has turned from a national issue into a party issue. Opposition parties are responsible for this, those who backtracked on their earlier decision [to back the bid].”
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